WASHINGTON - Building on his earlier trips to Latin America and Europe, U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick will travel to Shanghai to attend the June 6-7 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, where he will outline U.S. policies to expand trade, freedom and prosperity by pursuing global, regional, and bilateral trade liberalization. In particular, Ambassador Zoellick will emphasize the opportunity and need for APEC members to help launch a new WTO round later this year in Doha, Qatar.
The APEC meetings of Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) will discuss: ways to expand trade and investment liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region, including through free trade agreements and trade facilitations; trade policies for the new economy and e-commerce; and a range of economic and technical cooperation activities, including biotechnology and capacity building for trade negotiations.
The theme of this year’s APEC meetings, chaired by China, is "Meeting New Challenges in the New Century: Achieving Common Prosperity through Participation and Cooperation." While in Shanghai for the APEC meetings, Ambassador Zoellick will meet separately with most of the 21 APEC members, which are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States. In his meeting with China, Zoellick will discuss developments related to China’s accession to the WTO. In his meeting with Singapore, he will review progress on the negotiations to complete the U.S.-Singapore FTA. Ambassador Zoellick will meet with his Japanese counterpart to discuss efforts to launch a new WTO round and to exchange views on ongoing Japanese economic and deregulation efforts. In his various bilateral meetings, Zoellick hopes to emphasize the need to focus efforts on launching a new WTO round.
This APEC meeting will help prepare for the APEC summit in Shanghai, China in October. President Bush intends to attend the summit. Started in 1989, APEC provides a valuable forum for representatives to meet to develop ways to enhance economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC’s work has been focused on programs and policies designed to further this goal. Since 1994, a principal APEC objective has been to achieve free trade by 2010 for developed countries and 2020 for developing countries. U.S. two-way trade with APEC members exceeds $1.1 trillion, about two-thirds of U.S. trade with the world. As an Under Secretary of State, Ambassador Zoellick assisted in the formation and early years of APEC.
Ambassador Zoellick’s public schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, June 5
Various bilateral meetings (TBA)
Wednesday, June 6
9am-11:30am APEC MRT meeting, Shanghai Convention Center
2pm- 6pm, APEC MRT retreat
7:50-7:55pm, APEC MRT photo opportunity, Grand Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Shanghai
Thursday, June 7
APEC MRT meetings throughout day (TBA)
4pm-4:45pm APEC MRT press conference (location TBA)